Historian Ged Martin on the Death of Sir John A. Macdonald

8 12 2010

Historian Ged Martin was in Kingston, Ontario earlier this week to promote his new book about John A. Macdonald.  Favourite Son? : John A. Macdonald and the Voters of Kingston 1841-1891 (Kingston, Ont. : Kingston Historical Society, 2010).

In the book, Martin argues that Macdonald’s death in 1891 was hastened by stress caused by the knowledge that a corruption scandal was about to become public. The scandal centred on “Andrew C. Bancroft”, a non-existent person who had been awarded a contract to build a dry dock in Kingston by the federal government’s Department of Public Works, which was then headed by the notoriously corrupt Hector-Louis Langevin.  The dry dock is now the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes.


Kingston Dry Dock

For press coverage of Martin’s book launch in Kingston, see here.  The reader comments section of the article is amusing, especially where someone challenges Martin to a duel.



6 responses

8 12 2010
Fat Arse

Bullshit- JMAC’s death had nothing to do with the possibility of an inquiry into the project in question it had to do with a hard life of alcohol abuse, organ failure and ultimately … his age. Unless, Martin can produce incontrovertible proof to the contrary- it’s all bullshit!

13 11 2014
Graham Evan MacDonell

Mr. F.A. You know nought of which you speak as I am the world’s leading genealogist on Sir John A. Macdonald and have carried out extensive research on Sir John’s life and his death and have obtained personal papers including that of his wife’s diary….he stopped drinking by 1878 except for a bit of tippling in 1887 on the train trip to British Columbia. However, with someone of your perspective, I would not bother to even show you my evidence as you are the type of person I would not even speak to on this matter. G.E. MacDonell

14 11 2014

To whom is this addressed? Who is Mr F.A? What you are saying does appear to be congruent with Professor Martin’s piece on Macdonald’s drinking.

12 12 2010
Sage of Shanacoole

Far be it for mere mortals to venture to disssent from the instant omniscience of the person that signs itself Fat Arse, but I cannot help looking wistfully back to the days when it was felt helpful to read a book or article before pronouncing upon its argument.

12 12 2010


19 08 2016
Graham Evan MacDonell

If you were to read Ged Martin’s piece more carefully, you would realize that Sir John stopped drinking by 1881, ten years before his death. I outlined what drinking he did in the 1870s with the short reference to 1887, so, if you would like to contact Ged Martin, you will find that I am right and that you have not read his piece properly.

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